When choosing a country to holiday with babies and toddlers, Greece is one of our favourites. Young visitors are treated like royalty and there are plenty of attractions and nature based activities that make it a perfect family destination. We’ve rounded up our pick of Greece’s best places to visit with babies and toddlers to ensure a relaxing holiday for parents and children alike.
The largest of the Dodecanese islands in the Aegean sea, the climate in Rhodes is perfect for babies, with westerly winds taking the edge off the summer heat and sunny, mild winters. For families with babies young enough to sleep in a carrier there are plenty of ancient sights such as the UNESCO classified medieval city, partially erected on the foundations of the Byzantine enclosure, where gothic architecture coexists with mosques, public baths and historical bastions.
There are miles of family friendly beaches including stretches like Faliraki with shallow, calm waters perfect for little ones. Tsambika beach is also a good option to get away from the crowds but still have the convenience of a mini market nearby, and Elli beach is popular for its crystal clear water and nearby restaurants. Water babies will also love the award-winning Faliraki Water Park that offers rides for all ages and a children’s pirate ship.
This size of this green island means that a short drive away from the tourist resorts lie picture-perfect olive groves and pine-covered hills. Kids will love feeding the fish at the harbour in Corfu old town, where adults can enjoy the architecture and relax with a Greek coffee in a shady square. Glass bottomed boat tours are always a hit with children; why not take a BBQ cruise (look out for dolphins) and make a day of it?
For families with school-aged children horse riding is another way to see Corfu, with treks through the scenic interior of the island offering stunning views. Aqualand Water Park has a young children’s area for ages four and over as well as plenty of pools where families can swim together. Beach lovers should head to Agios Gordios to enjoy the fine sand, nearby playground and local friendly restaurants, or Sidari for a lively atmosphere with watersports for the grown-ups.
This peninsula on the coast of the mainland is postcard-perfect and dotted with luxury family resorts and Instagram-able beaches. The Blue Flag Trani Ammouda beach is one of the largest, with watersports and sunbeds, yet remains uncrowded even in peak season. Karidi beach is like a giant children’s pool, with the aquamarine water remaining waist-deep even 50 metres out to sea.
Children old enough to walk will enjoy a day out to Petralona Caves where they can spot resident bats, and school-aged kids can hear about the ancient fossilised skeletons found in the rocks. Hiring a car for a day trip to Thessaloniki is a great idea, where there is an educational Dinosaur Park and Mammoth Museum and the Waterland theme park.
Arguably the most family friendly island in Greece, Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades and according to legend is where Zeus spent his childhood. There are plenty of day trips to neighbouring islands so families can experience the best of Greece during their holiday. Naxos is large enough to be sparsely populated and offer watersports and day trips, yet small enough that driving around is a pleasure and it has remained free from the sprawling resorts that often appear on popular islands.
Naxos is ideal for nature loving families as there are plenty of outdoor activities on offer, from hiking to horseback riding and watersports for parents. Some of the best beaches in Greece call the island home, including the child friendly St. George’s beach with shallow waters and the quieter and more secluded Kastraki, Mikri Vigla or Plaka.
If your family prefers a city break, head to the capital of Greece and soak up all that Athens has to offer. Toddlers can run through the ruins of millenia-old architecture at the Acropolis, take a fun and educational trail through the Acropolis Museum or watch a 3D film at the Planetarium before exploring the interactive science exhibits. If your little ones need some open spaces to burn off some energy, escape to the National Gardens to visit the duck ponds, beautiful flower gardens and shaded woodland.
There is also a small zoo that will capture toddlers’ attention with monkeys, peacocks, Bulgarian wolves and other animals. There are lots of gorgeous beaches near Athens, too, making it a perfect destination for families who want to see everything that Greece has to offer!
Perfect for families with babies who just want to relax in peace and quiet, the island of Paxos offers solitude and an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. At just seven miles long and three miles wide, there are no huge complexes as the isle is popular with families hiring private villas.
Parents wanting a break from the party bars and waterparks of other family resorts will feel as though they’ve found heaven; there are several unspoilt beaches such as Harami and Kanoni with shallow, warm water ideal for toddlers and larger stretches like Monodendri with tavernas and watersports available. Take a boat trip to the paradise island of Antipaxos, home to two of the best beaches in the Mediterranean.
If it’s a beach holiday you’re after, Skiathos has plenty to choose from- over 60, in fact! Megali Amos beach has watersports to offer parents while kids make sandcastles, and Koukounaries is a stunning stretch of golden pine-fringed sand with sunbeds and nearby restaurants. Take a look at the daily open air cinema, showing English films, or enjoy boat life with a cruise past the blue caves to swim at the uninhabited island of Tsougria.
Tell toddlers how the Kastro fortification protected the island from pirates and hire a mountain bike with child’s seat to explore Skiathos on two wheels. There are plenty of watersports and other activities such as horse riding and family friendly walking trails.